Manchester United face off against Lyon at Murrayfield, with Erik ten Hag’s side continuing their preparations before they fly out to the United States in the coming days

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Football Digest: Harry Maguire stripped of Man Utd captaincy

Erik ten Hag has named Raphael Varane as Manchester United captain for the first game following Harry Maguire ’s demotion.

The United boss confirmed that Maguire, who has fallen out of favour since his appointment, will no longer be skipper. Bruno Fernandes is the favourite to get the armband long term - but with the Portuguese unavailable, Varane will lead the side out against Lyon.

The Red Devils take on the Ligue 1 giants at Murrayfield in Edinburgh, in the final game before they head Stateside for their pre-season tour. **

Fernandes was one of four players who only returned to training over the weekend, after appearing in international fixtures until mid-June. He, along with Luke Shaw, Casemiro and Marcus Rashford have all been given some extra time off, but will be on the flight to the United States later this week.

That has meant Ten Hag has named a mix-and-match XI with some senior pros, along with younger players looking to make an impact. Varane and Lisandro Martinez were named as the two central defenders, the undisputed starting pairing for Ten Hag.

Their partnership has already pushed Maguire out of the starting line-up and seemingly out of United’s plans altogether. Speaking earlier this week, the England international confirmed his humiliating axe.

“After discussions with the manager today he has informed me he is changing captain. He outlined his reasons to me and whilst I’m personally extremely disappointed, I will continue to give my all every time I wear the shirt,” he said in a statement on social media.

Erik ten Hag has named Raphael Varane as captain for Man Utd's clash with Lyon Erik ten Hag has named Raphael Varane as captain for Man Utd’s clash with Lyon (


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Maguire added: “I wanted to say a massive thank you to the Manchester United fans for all their brilliant support whilst I’ve been wearing the armband. Since the day I took on the role, three and half years ago, it’s been a huge privilege to lead Manchester United and one of the proudest moments of my career to date.

“It’s one of the greatest honours in club football. I’ve done everything I possibly could to help United be successful - on and off the field. I will always be grateful to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer for first giving me the responsibility and I wish whoever now takes it on every success and they will have my full support.”

Varane is understood to be one of the leading candidates, having deputised for Fernandes for the meeting with Leeds United in Oslo last week. “It was an honour for me to be a captain for the game,” he said.

Ten Hag has regularly praised the leadership qualities of Varane, who was tipped to become the next France skipper, before his surprise retirement from international football.

OSLO, NORWAY - JULY 12: Erik Ten Hag the manager / head coach of Manchester United passes the ball to Raphael Varane of Manchester United during the Pre-Season Friendly fixture between Manchester United and Leeds United at Ullevaal Stadion on July 12, 2023 in Oslo, Norway. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images) Raphael Varane has been skipper for United’s first two pre-season games

“With Rapha Varane there as the leader, he puts everyone in the right position, he fits really good together with Licha Martinez and also the two full-backs,” he said last season.

Matej Kovar was picked as the starting goalkeeper, as United wait to officially confirm the arrival of Andre Onana. The Inter Milan keeper has jetted into the UK to complete a medical, with his transfer set to be announced imminently.

Mason Mount was also given his second start in a United shirt, whilst Amad received another chance to impress Ten Hag and press his case for a bigger role at Old Trafford.

Man Utd XI vs Lyon: Kovar; Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Martinez, Fernandez; Mainoo, Mount, Hannibal; Anrtony, Sancho, Amad.